Our long weekend to remember Christ’s upwards flight in Sweden started last Wednesday (for many, though not all) while friends of mine on the other side of the pond are enjoying Memorial Day as a day off.
One after another Facebook status updates of friends in US not only mentioned that they were home from work but gave public thanks to the men and women of the US military on this day of remembrance. The ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq where American servicemen and service women are still serving on the front lines are clearly in the hearts and minds of people going about their daily lives.
Sweden doesn’t have a public holiday to commemorate its fallen soldiers. That’s largely because Sweden has kept itself out of war for well over 100 years and nearly 200 since Sweden the country was at war with anyone else.
While I am not glad that American men and women have lost their lives while fighting wars I am touched by the solidarity of the American people giving shout outs to American soldiers and veterans. And while it’s good that Sweden hasn’t been to war in so long, I sometimes think a defeated enemy or a recent liberation would unify Swedes and infuse a national pride that could extend beyond a common love for the outdoors.
I don’t know if it would be a good or a bad thing for Sweden or Swedes, but it would definitely give more umph to the Swedish National Day on June 6th.